Willesden island attracts criticism following traffic chaos

Cars and buses held up at mid-road crossing

An ‘Island’ constructed in the middle of Willesden High Road has attracted criticism following a traffic hold up.

The mid-road crossing, which lies in the middle of the High Road opposite Willesden Library Centre, was constructed to make the road crossing safer for residents.

But Tony Antoniou MBE, Chairman of Brent’s Safer Neighbourhoods Team and who works in the high road labelled it a ‘disaster waiting to happen’.

He said: “What happens when a police car or an ambulance needs to get through and it can’t even move? You are talking about people’s lives here.”

During the week, numerous cars and five buses were held up after another bus broke down in between the pavement and the crossing.

Mr Antoniou continued: “This is not the first time something like this has happened and it will happen again, it was utter chaos.

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“The council should be more focussed on providing better footpaths and clearing holes in the road rather than pointless schemes like this.

“I told them about this and explained the potential dangers but they just don’t listen.”

But a spokesman for Brent Council said the area had a poor safety record and that the island was part of an improvement scheme to make it easier and safer to use for residents.

He added: “An independent audit identified the need for improvements and over 75 per cent of local people and businesses consulted supported the proposals.

“Large vehicles do break down from time to time and cause hold ups but the traffic situation has not been made significantly worse while the situation for pedestrians is much better.”